Friday, 18 April 2014

Easter Greetings

Wishing all my dear blogging friends a Happy Easter....

...where your days are filled with sunshine

and blessed with the love of your family and friends

See you soon

Sunday, 13 April 2014

So proud....

Why?   Our son Jonathan ran in the London Marathon today and completed it in 4hrs 17mins raising nearly £5,000 for his chosen charity which he explains in the testament he wrote for his fundraising page -which I thought you might like to read. (Ive taken out the links to his fundraising - this wasn't the object of this post)

"Hi All

Many thanks for vistitng this page.

Running the London Marathon has long been a challenge I have thought about undertaking. I am privileged to be running for Action for A-T. This Charity was set up by my colleague Toby Read in order to help his daughter Evie and others suffering from this degenerative childhood disease.

Toby and his family have done a truly incredible job with the charity to date and if I can do my small part in making some form of contribution then I will feel I have accomplished a great deal.

Training really started last year when I ran the Royal Parks Half Marathon in October (..when you finish the half it is almost incomprehensible that you then have to run another half in the full Marathon).

I am now up to 19 miles in training and with your help and sponsorship behind me this will quite literally push me over the finish line. At times you do question getting up 6.30am on a Sunday to run 16 or 17 miles in the wet and wind (and my word it has been wet and windy this winter). However when you are out running the streets and you think you are at your lowest ebb, you only need a moment to think why you are doing this and your pace gets faster, your legs feel lighter as you realise you actually have a chance of contributing to Toby's Charity and ultimately the quality of Evie's life "

I know I'm biased, and thousands do this all the time - but I AM his mum after all!! A fabulous day that will remain in our memory bank forever.

Oh, and I was just about to wrap up when Jonny sent me this that a friend sent him - and oh so true.

I really am going now. See you all soon.

- Posted using BlogPress from my iPad

Friday, 4 April 2014

A Year in Books

Linking up with Laura at Circle of Pine Trees who has organised this monthly book read.

The month of March just whizzed by and I didn't really find time to read my book Wedlock, other than fifteen minutes a night before dropping off to sleep! It was a good read and the author certainly did her research well. Being a biographical novel she obviously had to use some poetic licence with her storyline. Nevertheless it made very good reading and recommended by my sister Barbara.

It has always vexed me when watching TV costume dramas and historical films that an awful lot women were so badly treated by their husbands and society in general. It prompted me to find more about the lives of married women during the 18th and 17th centuries - for instance married women were not allowed to go to work.  In Georgian England Married women were barred by law from owning land and property or having their own source of income. Girls and women were effectively ruled by their fathers and then their husbands. They had no legal status at all. If a man wanted out of the marriage, he would quite often send his wife to an Asylum as a lunatic where she'd spend the rest of her days. If they were divorced, then he would have sole care of the children, even if they were the woman's children from a previous marriage. And so it goes on....... Needless to say this book ticked all the boxes and I now want to research the subject more.

So, April's book is a bit more of a modern read recommended by my sister Helen.
 The point of rescue by Sophie Hannan. 

Last year, a work trip Sally had planned was cancelled at the last minute. Desperate for a break from her busy life juggling her career and young family, Sally didn't tell her husband that the trip was cancelled but instead she booked a week off and treated herself to a secret holiday just wanting a bit of peace and some time to herself - but it didn't work out that way........

I don't know much about this author but I'll fill you in next month with the outcome.


I'd just like to say a big thank you to everyone who commented on my last post - I so enjoy reading your comments and appreciate them very much.

Have a wonderful weekend - we're off "Glamping" with our daughter and partner - watch this space!!

Posted using BlogPress from my iPad

Sunday, 30 March 2014

Back from a blogging break

Well, when I say break it definitely wasn't planned I can tell you. Since the hubster retired one month ago, our feet haven't touched the ground - added to which this glorious weather we've been having of late was simply too good to miss. So, many apologies if I haven't caught up with you recently but hopefully I'm back on track now, just need to be organised and get myself into a routine again. As for housework - Mmmm that's another story. Oh well, live for the day that's my motto!

Anyway I've cobbled together a few piccies of some recent good moments during the last month.

A trip to Rochester in Kent - a place very synonymous with Charles Dickens. Wonderful Cathedral and we used our English Heritage passes to visit the Castle.

A much awaited visit to London's Royal Albert Hall to see my favourite Puccini opera La Boheme - simply wonderful!

Visited a local venue for an Artbookart book fair, where I met the lovely Sandie from Itchifingers who designed and created these wonderful journals - a very awe inspiring morning to say the least.

Several trips out in the campervan - stopping for a brew along the way. Do you like the jar of places to visit that my sister Helen gave me? She'd cut out lots of articles of local beauty spots from magazines - a lovely homemade lucky dip.

and of course it goes without saying that we simply had to partake in the obligatory Monday Munch! Look at the weather too.

Anyway dear friends, I hope to be back very soon. Wishing you all a lovely day today.

Posted using BlogPress from my iPad

Wednesday, 5 March 2014

Year in Books - March

Firstly I want to thank all you lovely people for the wonderful comments you left on my last post about John retiring. I/we were very touched by the encouragement and inspiration you gave us both. I love blogging - its a very special place to be.

Another book to read and review for the Year in Books challenge which you can find here organised by Laura at a Circle of Pine Trees. For the month of March I am reading

a biography by Wendy Moore published in 2008 

which tells the story of  Mary Eleanor Bowes who was the richest heiress in eighteenth-century Britain. A compelling tale of her life and loves, where the torrent of biography sweeps the reader along. The research that went into this book must have been phenomenal as the author relates not only to Mary's story but others who came in and out of her life and many more besides. Lots of factual history about life at that time.

Precocious and indulged, Mary Eleanor Bowes (a distant 3xgreat grandmother of our own late Elizabeth Bowes Lyon - HRH The Queen Mother) fell under the spell of a handsome Irish soldier, Andrew Robinson Stoney. When Mary heard her gallant hero was mortally wounded in a duel fought to defend her honour, she felt she could hardly refuse his dying wish to marry her. Yet within hours of the ceremony, Stoney seemed to be in the grip of a miraculous recovery....and Mary found herself trapped in an appallingly brutal marriage - a remarkable tale of triumph in the face of overwhelming betrayal. More about this when I have finished the book - otherwise I'll spoil it for myself.

Another book that I've begun on my Kindle is The Virgin Widow by Anne O'Brien
(I know - I'm meant to be weaning myself off of historical novels - but this is part of the weaning off process !!)

Anne Neville is the heiress and daughter of the greatest powerbroker in the land, Warwick the Kingmaker. Trapped in a deadly tangle of political intrigue, she is a pawn in an uncertain game, used by the houses of Neville, York and Lancaster alike. Again, I need to read the book through before I review it. More about this next month.

February's book East of the Sun which you can find here ticked all the boxes for me. As I mentioned before I chose it because of its setting in India. Well, I definitely recalled all the wonderful smells, sounds, sights and culture of that memorable holiday. This was an utterly engaging novel and one that I couldn't put down.

Happy reading
Back soon x

Thursday, 27 February 2014

As one door closes.....

....another one opens.

Tomorrow 28th February 2014 John retires from work  - after commuting to the City of London for just over 50 years and working in both the marine and aviation insurance world - he's closing down his PC, handing back his season ticket and leaving the daily buzz of the City's financial sector behind him.

The blue building is 'the office'

He should have retired at 62 and was fortunate to be able to carry on for another five years. I say fortunate - he really enjoys his work and would have liked to carry on for another year or two on a three-day-a-week basis. But hey ho the powers that be felt that the time was right - a lot of his work now being sent to India!

So - a new chapter in our life is about to begin. Plans are being put into place -

projects to be mulled over

... camper van jollies to be had

...lots of walking

...even more gardening

maybe a holiday or two

new ventures

and time to relax

I retired at 57 so I've had plenty of  time to do my own thing, but who'd have thought when I graduated with my Degree last September and didn't know what to do next, that John would be finishing too within a few months.

A leaving 'do' has been arranged at his office tomorrow, when I shall travel up to the City to be a part of this slightly sad but memorable day.

See you soon x

Friday, 21 February 2014

Look what the postman brought me....

.....some beautiful loveliness in the shape of a giveaway that I won over at the lovely Gilly's blog -  Gilly Makes. My parcel arrived this afternoon and I'm over the moon with my selection of Cath Kidston goodies all wrapped up in pretty rosebud paper.

 with a handmade tag attached.

I was just so chuffed when I opened the parcel

So many gorgeous gifts

CK hand cream and tissues

A gorgeous CK pinny 

CK paper napkins and a pack of 12 mini clothes pegs

Look at these wonderful CK trimmed rubber gloves

pretty dusters

and kitchen cloths

(methinks housework will never be quite the same again!!)

Thank you sooooo much Gilly for this wonderful gift - I adore it. Your generosity is truly appreciated.  

Have a great weekend and I'll be back again soon x